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Mozart [Paperback]

Julian Rushton

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Book Description

Sept. 5 2009 Master Musicians Series
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart is one of the great icons of Western music. An amazing prodigy who toured the capitals of Europe as a child, astonishing royalty and professional musicians with his precocious skills, in his adulthood he wrote some of the finest music in the European tradition. Julian Rushton offers a concise and up-to-date biography of this musical genius, combining a well-researched life of the composer with an introduction to the works - symphonic, chamber, sacred, and theatrical - of one of the few who have composed undisputed masterpieces in every genre of his time. Rushton presents a vivid portrait, ranging from Mozart the Wunderkind - travelling with his family from Salzburg to Vienna, Paris, London, Rome, and Milan - to the mature composer of perennially fascinating operas such as "The Marriage of Figaro," "Don Giovanni," and "The Magic Flute." During the past half-century, scholars have thoroughly explored Mozart's life and music, offering new interpretations based on their historical context, and providing a factual basis for confirming or more often debunking, fanciful accounts of the man and his work. Rushton takes full advantage of these biographical and musical studies as well as the definitive New Mozart Edition to provide an accurate account of Mozart's life and, equally important, an insightful look at the music itself, complete with illustrative musical examples. An engaging biography for general readers that will also be an informative resource for scholars, this new addition to the prestigious Master Musicians series puts forward an authoritative interpretation of one of the defining figures of European culture.

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Review

"An achievement of real distinction.... Rushton unfailingly captures the right tone, rendering his book accessible to the general Mozart lover and at the same time satisfying to the Mozart scholar.... This is a book to relish." --John Irving, Eighteenth-Century Music

"An exceptional book. Rushton's Mozart is a practical guide for both the general reader and scholar. The biography is fluent, easy to understand, and supplies many updated resources. He offers a concise and up-to-date biography while meeting his objective of supplying an introduction and guide to the works.This is a well researched book that will serve as a practical guide for both the general reader and scholar." --Jonathan Ng, Choral Journal

"Crisp, learned." --Alex Ross, The New Yorker

"A crisp account of the composer's career, with many musical examples.... Rushton is direct, impersonal and authoritative, as befits a brief but learned introductory life. Not that he doesn't offer anecdotal material to keep the more casual reader entertained." --Michael Dirda, Washington Post

"Always sensitive, judicious, and stimulating. It is too short--not too short for Mozart but for Rushton, who has certainly much more to say that would be of interest." --Charles Rosen, The New York Review of Books

"A valuable addition to the ever-growing literature on Mozart." --Library Journal

"Rushton has pulled off something as brilliant as it is implausible: a perfectly judicious account of the life of the composer." --Bookpage

"The finest short biography of Mozart that I know--incisive, insightful, and elegantly written. If I had to recommend one book that explained the man and his music, this would be it." --Cliff Eisen, Department of Music, King's College London

"A splendid introduction to Mozart's life and works--carefully organized, sensibly argued, and lucidly written. Rushton brings his vast knowledge of Mozart into the biographical arena and succeeds admirably in writing for both the layman and the connoisseur of Mozart's music." --Simon P. Keefe, Professor of Music at City University London, and editor of The Cambridge Companion to Mozart and The Cambridge Mozart Encyclopedia

"Rushton's account is succinct yet thorough, covering key areas such as the composer's relationship with freemasonry and his attitudes toward his contemporaries." --Andrew Farach-Colton

From the Publisher

14 halftones, 50 music examples --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.5 out of 5 stars  2 reviews
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars LOVE THIS BOOK! Feb. 5 2013
By Lili - Published on Amazon.com
This Book is a very good book! I checked out lots of books of the library and this book is a VERY GOOD MOZART BOOK! I personally will buy this when I can.. I have it in my Wishlist. (I don't have enough money to buy it now).. So I rate this book ***** (5) Stars! IF YOU WANT YOU CAN BUY IT FOR ME, IT IS NO PROBLEM.
5 of 14 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars BUYER BEWARE....For Musicians ONLY! Jan. 31 2009
By tom h. - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
If you are like me and have seen and enjoyed the Mozart operas and own a few CD's of his music, but cannot read music then this book is not for you. If you want to know more about Mozart the man, look elswhere as Rushton skips over details the layman might wish to know more about only to get to analyses. I wouldn't know if it is in depth or not.
The biographical information the author does relay is informative, though bland and colorless.
I wouldn't recommend this book to any but aspiring or professional classical musicians as they would be able to glean much more information from it than I, but even then, I would cite this book as an example of what is wrong with classical music and its fandom today. It completely strips ALL emotion from one of the most emotional composers who ever lived and tries to reduce him and his music to technicalities and forgets why the reader or listener chooses W.A. Mozart over his contemporaries in the first place. In short the book has no heart.

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